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Newcastle bid still alive, says ‘hurt’ Staveley

London (AFP) – Amanda Staveley hit back on Friday saying her bid to buy Premier League side Newcastle United remained live despite a source close to present owner Mike Ashley saying it was dead in the water.

Staveley, whose company PCP Capital Partners were instrumental in the deal that saw Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour buy Manchester City, told The Times she had been “hurt” by the remarks made by the source.

The source had told Sky Sports on Tuesday that dealing with Staveley had been “exhausting, frustrating and a complete waste of time”.

Staveley, who has previously failed with a bid to buy Liverpool, rejected this out of hand.

She says her third offer of £250 million ($348 million) is very much a real bid.  

The figure is below Ashley’s asking price but the bid would also see her invest an additional £100 million in players over the first two transfer windows.

“I’m very much still interested in buying Newcastle,” said the 44-year-old English businesswoman.

“And our bid remains on the table.

“I’m very concerned, I’m very surprised and I’m disappointed about what’s been said this week.

“The suggestion that we were either wasting time or not serious is absurd. It’s hurtful. Hugely hurtful.”

Staveley is adamant manager Rafael Benitez is integral to the future plans should they succeed in wresting the club from Ashley’s hands.

“Rafa is doing an incredible job,” said Staveley.

“We want Rafa to be part of this project.”

Staveley says she has brought together potential investors from around the globe — believed to be from the Middle East, east Asia and the United States.

“This is something we’ve been working really hard on,” she said.

“It’s not something we’ve just thrown together. I’m putting a lot of my own capital into this and our investors, who come from around the world, include sovereign wealth funds.”

Staveley says there is an emotional element to her interest in buying the club as well.

“They’re such passionate fans and it’s a great club,” she said.

“I’m a northerner. My family home is an hour away from St James’ Park. I just love football and Newcastle has a proper history and a real magic.”

Sportswear magnate Ashley announced he wanted to sell the club last October after 10 years in charge, having paid £134.4 million to buy Newcastle in 2007.

The 53-year-old Londoner has proved a divisive figure during his tenure, which has seen Newcastle twice relegated from the Premier League and then immediately promoted back.

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